Hidden in the forests of northeastern Alabama, Russell Cave is a true wonder of archaeology. It served as a shelter for prehistoric people for more than 10,000 years. For a glimpse into the past, Read more...
Hidden in the forests of northeastern Alabama, Russell Cave is a true wonder of archaeology. It served as a shelter for prehistoric people for more than 10,000 years. For a glimpse into the past, plan to spend a day—or even a weekend—at this 314-acre monument.
The cave's main entrance hosted humans from 10,000 B.C. to 1650 A.D. It still holds rich cultural significance to Native American peoples. If you're there in May, catch the annual Native American Festival. While the shelter is the main draw, Russell Cave itself is a whopping 7.5 miles long. But don't get your hopes up if you're into cave-exploring. Access is pretty restricted.
Hit up the museum in the visitor center. The center also is your starting point for guided tours to the cave's rock shelter. After your tour, enjoy a packed lunch in the picnic areas.
Ready to break in your hiking shoes? Start with the paved, less than a mile Nature Trail for a casual stroll. For a more robust hike, take the 1.2-mile Backcountry Trail. Keep an eye out for whitetail deer and purple coneflowers growing beneath Montague Mountain. The national monument also marks part of the North Alabama Birding Trail, hosting around 130 bird species.
There's no camping permitted in the park itself, but private campgrounds are located nearby. Thanks to Alabama's pleasant climate and mild winters, you can visit Russell Cave year-round. Each season brings something special to this prehistoric landmark.